Ticket Printer Mixed Up in Illinois Lottery Investigation
Manufacturing lottery tickets is certainly a high-stakes, secretive process. But is the industry so secure that no one can find the winning tickets?
That's what the firms that manage and stock the Illinois Lottery with instant tickets contend, after an exclusive story in the Chicago Tribune revealed the biggest prizes were never paid out.
Northstar Lottery Group has been responsible for managing the state lottery since 2011. Last year, Gov. Bruce Rauner terminated its contract, as of Dec. 31, 2016, for failing to meet the lofty revenue targets it promised.
But with this incident, the group is under a different flame and possibly faces harsher consequences.
— State Rep. Lou Lang (@StateRepLouLang) December 9, 2016
The Tribune reports that, in a five-year period, 23 grand prizes were not paid out — more than 40% of what was designed into the games. For example, one of those games, The Good Life, offered $46 million in installments to two winners. Millions of $30 tickets were sold, but Northstar pulled the game before the top prize was awarded.
Northstar was created by two multinational companies: International Game Technology (formerly known as GTECH), which owns controlling shares; and Scientific Games, which prints the tickets. Both firms were paid a cut of the ticket sales, and both argued the Tribune's findings were irrelevant or misleading.
However, they did not dismiss the findings. Susan Cartwright, spokeswoman for Scientific Games, states,
Scientific Games encourages any review by the responsible public officials of state-regulated gaming operations and pledges its full cooperation with any review.
Based in Alpharetta, Ga., Scientific Games International is a subsidiary of Scientific Games Corp., headquartered in Las Vegas, which created the first secure instant lottery ticket in 1974. Today, the company designs, prints, packs and ships 20 billion of the world’s most popular scratch-off lottery tickets every year, including to the state of Illinois.